Roger Ronnberg coached the Swedish entry at last year’s World Junior Championship, a tournament that ended in disappointment for the Swedes as the Russians prevented Sweden from playing for the gold medal. At the 2012 tournament, Ronnberg and his charges have achieved at least some revenge for that loss, defeating the Russians in a 4-3 overtime thriller.
Swedish defenseman Oscar Klefbom is considered a top defensive prospect for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers. He has turned in a solid performance at the 2012 World Junior Championship, helping to anchor the Swedes’ top defensive pairing. Klefbom scored the opening goal for Sweden in their game against Russia, helping the team to climb out of a 3-0 hole and eventually go on to a 4-3 overtime win over the Russians.
For a second consecutive World Junior Championship, Sweden‘s Max Friberg has been the offensive catalyst for his team. Friberg has turned in another strong performance at the 2012 WJC, including a two-point effort in Sweden’s come-from-behind, 4-3 overtime win.
Friberg talked about his latest clutch outing following the Swedes’ win over Russia.
Swedish forward Johan Sundstrom has been given a good deal of responsibility by the team’s coaching staff, and it appears some of that faith in Sundstrom is paying dividends. The New York Islanders prospect is centering Sweden‘s top unit at the 2012 WJC, and has also been named an alternate captain. Sundstrom picked up three points in the team’s 9-1 win over Slovakia, a sign that his game is peaking at the right time as Sweden heads into its New Year’s Eve showdown against Russia.
Sundstrom spoke with HF following the win over Slovakia.
The Group A preliminary round matchup that most were expecting would carry great weight will indeed come to pass as Sweden and Russia will faceoff on New Year’s Eve for bragging rights in this grouping. Sweden cemented their position with a 9-1 win over Slovakia, with one of the team’s stars being forward Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad, a Ottawa Senators prospect, turned in his best performance of the WJC so far and, like the rest of the Swedish squad, seems to be round his game into shape at the right time.
Zibanejad took some questions from the media following the win over Slovakia.